FAIRFAX, Va. — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has promised to end the military ban on marijuana, Duffel Blog has confirmed.
The news comes in the immediate aftermath of a speech at George Mason University, where the prominent leftist politician announced his support to decriminalize the plant at a federal level.
"Too many servicemen have seen their careers destroyed because they pissed hot after lighting up. That's wrong. That has got to change," Sanders said.
"The time is long overdue for us to remove the military's ban on marijuana," Sanders boldly continued, speaking to a group of reporters outside GMU. "In my view, base commanders should have the right to regulate marijuana the same way that they would regulate alcohol in the barracks."
Despite recent (and, in some cases, successful) efforts by states to legalize recreational use of cannabis within certain limits, military personnel are still held to federal laws, which classify the plant as being a Schedule I controlled substance - putting marijuana in the same category as LSD and ecstasy, and one category higher than meth and coke.
Should Sanders' proposal come to fruition, it would not only pave the way for more the armed services to legalize recreational and medicinal cannabis use, but would also leave jurisdiction of marijuana use up to individual commanders at the base level.
Sanders' idea is getting a positive reception among millennial servicemembers.
"Of course I support him in that regard," says Pvt. John Mackey, a soldier at Ft. Carson, during a Skype interview. "I bet morale across the branches would be a lot higher than it is, if you catch my drift."
While support for the idea was nearly universal among younger troops, older active duty members and retirees tended to be against Senator Sanders' proposal.
"What's with all this hoopla about legalizing pot for military folks?" counters Gary Matheson, a former Army Ranger who is now on the DEA's Foreign-deployed Advisory and Support Team. "The military shouldn't have to cater to these damn millennial hippies. If they want to get toked up, they should wait until they ETS - plain and simple!"
When Sanders was asked how the ban would be lifted on ships at sea, Sanders replied, "Uh, dude. Stop harshing my mellow." Sanders is currently polling around 90 percent on military bases, according to Gallup.